Daily Tech Digest - June 28, 2021

Is Quantum Supremacy A Threat To The Cryptocurrency Ecosystem?

Quantum computing has always been a potential threat to cryptocurrencies ever since the birth of Bitcoin and its contemporaries. Before we can understand why? Let’s dive into how cryptocurrency transactions work. Let’s take Bitcoin as an example. Bitcoin is a decentralized peer-to-peer system for transferring value. This means that unlike traditional financial institutions that mediate a lot of the processes, Bitcoin users facilitate themselves, such as creating their own addresses. By means of complex algorithms, users calculate a random private key and public address to perform transactions and keep them secure. At the moment, cryptographically secure private keys serve as the only protection for users’ funds. If quantum computers cracked the encryption safeguarding the private keys, then it would likely mark the end for bitcoin and all cryptocurrencies. Not like we want to be the bearer of bad news, but there are already multiple quantum shortcuts that bypass public-key cryptography. Examples like Shor’s algorithm enable the extraction of private keys from any public key.

Will open-source Postgres take over the database market? Experts weigh in

Stalwart IBM is now offering an EDB Postgres solution. IBM’s Villalobos thinks it’s as much an enterprise modernization requirement as anything else that’s driving demand for the open-source, cloud-oriented product. He thinks customers should use IBM’s Rocket cloud (methodology that helps customers appraise all database modernization options). “Not all customers totally understand where they are today,” he said. Analyzing what costs could be freed-up is a part of what IBM offers. Part of what is driving the movement toward EDB and PostgreSQL, is that Postgres has done a good job on getting EDB working for enterprise, according to Villalobos. “Is there any database that can finally replace Oracle in the world,” Young asked. The interoperability and compatibility between Oracle and EDB makes EDB a contender, he believes. Tangible difference, according to Sheikh, include getting environments running more quickly, with “less latency in terms of agility,” and the ability for deployment anywhere being attractive factors for the data scientist. 

The biggest post-pandemic cyber security trends

Corporate culture often brings to mind ping pong tables, free beers on Fridays and bean bags, but what about security and business continuity planning? Well, they are about to become just as important. Cyber security needs to become front of mind for all employees, not just those who work in IT. One way to do this is through “war-gaming” activities, training employees and creating rapid response plans to ensure that everyone is prepared in case of an attack. The roles of the C-suite have been changing for quite some time now, as each role becomes less siloed and the whole company is viewed more as a whole than as separate teams. The evolution of the chief information security officer (CISO) is a great example of this – rather than being a separate role to the chief information officer (CIO) or chief technology officer (CTO), the CISO is now responsible for security, customer retention, business continuity planning and much more. Now, this change needs to spread to the rest of the business so that all employees prioritise security and collaboration, whatever their level and role. The natural result of this is that teams will become more open and better at information sharing which will make it easier to spot when there has been a cyber security issue, as everyone will know what is and isn’t normal across the company.

Why SAFe Hurts

Many transformations begin somewhere after the first turn on the Implementation Roadmap. Agile coaches will often engage after someone has, with the best of intentions, decided to launch an Agile Release Train (ART), but hasn’t understood how to do so successfully. As a result, the first Program Increment, and SAFe, will feel painful. Have you ever seen an ART that is full of handoffs and is unable to deliver anything of value? This pattern emerges when an ART is launched within an existing organizational silo, instead of being organized around the flow of value. When ARTs are launched in this way, the same problems that have existed in the organization for years become more evident and more painful. For this reason, many Agile and SAFe implementations face a reboot at some point. Feeling the pain, an Agile coach will help leaders understand why they’re not getting the expected results. Here’s where organizations will reconsider the first straight of the Implementation Roadmap, find time for training, and re-launch their ARTs. This usually happens after going through a Value Stream Identification and ART Identification workshop to best understand how to organize so that ARTs are able to deliver value.

4 benefits of modernizing enterprise applications

Legacy applications often based on monolithic architecture, are not only difficult but also costly to update and maintain since the entire application’s components are bucketed together. Even if updated, it could result in integration complexities resulting in wastage of time and resources. By modernizing an application to a microservices architecture, components are smaller, loosely coupled, and can be deployed and scaled independently. With cloud architecture growing more complex, IT services providers are expected to deliver the best combination of services to fulfil customer needs. They need to conduct a deep-dive analysis into the customer’s business, technical costs and contribution of each application in the IT portfolio. Based on the functional and technical value that each application brings along, the IT services provider should recommend the most compatible modernization and migration approach. In the process, they will enable rationalization and optimization of the customer’s IT landscape. Thus, only a handful of applications which are both functionally and technically relevant are chosen for migration to the cloud. 

Unlocking the Potential of Blockchain Technology: Decentralized, Secure, and Scalable

Some blockchains select users to add and validate the next block by having them devote computing power to solving cryptographic riddles. That approach has been criticized for being inefficient and energy intensive. Other blockchains give users holding the associated cryptocurrency power to validate new blocks on behalf of everyone else. That approach has been criticized for being too centralized, as relatively few people hold the majority of many cryptocurrencies. Algorand also relies on an associated cryptocurrency to validate new blocks. The company calls the currency Algo coins. Rather than giving the power to validate new blocks to the people with the most coins, however, Algorand has owners of 1,000 tokens out of the 10 billion in circulation randomly select themselves to validate the next block. The tokens are selected in a microsecond-long process that requires relatively little computing power. The random selection also makes the blockchain more secure by giving no clear target to hackers, helping Algorand solve the “trilemma” put forth by the Ethereum founder with a scalable, secure, and decentralized blockchain.

4 Skills Will Set Apart Tomorrow’s Data Scientists

While data science is complex, the widening data literacy gap threatens innovation and collaboration across teams. Accenture found that 75% of employees read data, yet only 21% “are confident with their data literacy skills.” While organizations should invest in data literacy across the entire organization to boost productivity, today’s data scientists should learn how to best communicate the fundamentals behind data. The ability to explain different concepts like variance, standard deviation, and distributions will help data scientists explain how data was collected, what the set of data reveals about that data, and whether it appears valid. These insights are helpful when communicating data to other stakeholders, especially the C-suite. ... The best data scientists are also adept storytellers, providing the necessary context about data sets and explaining why the data is important in the larger picture. When sharing a new set of data or the results of a data project, focus on crafting a narrative on the top three things the audience should walk away with. Reiterate these points throughout whatever medium you choose --- presentation, email, interactive report, etc. -- to move your audience to action.

How to migrate Java workloads to containers: 3 considerations

Containerization and orchestration also overlap two other key trends right now: Application migration and application modernization. Migration typically refers to moving workloads from one environment (today, usually a traditional datacenter) to another (usually a cloud platform.) Modernization, often used as an umbrella term, refers to the various methods of migrating applications to a cloud environment. These run the gamut from leaving the code largely as-is to a significant (or total) overhaul in order to optimize a workload for cloud-native technologies. Red Hat technology evangelist Gordon Haff notes that this spectrum bears out in Red Hat’s enterprise open source research: The 2020 report found a healthy mix of strategies for managing legacy applications, including “leave as-is” (31 percent), “update or modernize” (17 percent), “re-architect as cloud-enabled (16 percent), and “re-architect as cloud-native” (14 percent). “Leave as-is” is self-explanatory. “To whatever large degree containers are the future, you don’t need to move everything there just because,” Haff says. But as Red Hat’s research and other industry data reflect, many organizations are indeed containerizing some workloads. Containers can play a role in any of the other three approaches to legacy applications.

A sector under siege: how the utilities industry can win the war against ransomware

Although the utilities sector is typically resilient to unexpected macro changes, current market conditions have forced every industry to drastically accelerate digital transformation plans. The utilities sector is no exception, which perhaps indicates the sudden shift to the cloud. As a result of this rapid transformation, however, 55% of utilities companies admit that their security measures haven’t kept up with the complexity of their IT infrastructure, meaning they have less visibility and control of their data than ever before. This ‘chink in the armour’ could be their downfall when an attacker strikes. So, it comes as no surprise that there are lingering concerns around cloud security for two-thirds (67%) of utilities companies. Other apprehensions around cloud adoption include reduced data visibility (59%) or risk of downtime (55%). These are valid concerns given that two-thirds (64%) of utilities sector companies admit that their organisation’s approach to dealing with cyber attacks could be improved, while increasing resiliency to ransomware and data governance are among their top three priorities.

Danske Bank’s 360° DevSecOps Evolution at a Glance

The main enablers for this evolution are several actually, and a combination of internal and external factors. From an internal perspective, firstly it was our desire to further engineer and in some cases reverse-engineer our SDLC. We wanted to increase release velocity and shorten time to market, improve developer productivity, improve capabilities interoperability and modernize our technological landscape; in addition, find a pragmatic equilibrium between speed, reliability and security, while shifting the latter two as left as sensible into the SDLC. Last but not least, we wanted to make the silos (business to IT and IT to IT) across the internal DevOps ecosystem collapse by improving collaboration, communication and a coalition on our DevOps vision. From an external perspective, of course competition is a factor. In an era of digital disruption, time to market and reliability of services and products are vital. DevOps practices foster improvements on those quality aspects. In addition, we as a bank are heavily regulated with several requirements and guidelines by the FSA and EBA. 

Quote for the day:

"Leadership is the creation of an environment in which others are able to self-actualize in the process of completing the job." -- John Mellecker

No comments:

Post a Comment